I spent this past weekend in my Classical Yoga Teacher’s Training at the local Ashram. So that meant I had a pretty stinky, sweaty sticky mat by the end of the day on Sunday. Gross, right? Yeah, I know. It’s gross. My mat has gotten a lot of love over the years. I believe it’s about five years old now – maybe more. I can’t remember when I got it – just that it’s green, it’s from Gaiam, and I am probably due to get a new one (losing its stickiness).
*Sigh* It’ll be a sad day to retire the mat. I am a firm believer in the energy I create in my yoga practice gets transferred to my mat where it resides to help sustain me through my next practice. This mat has a lot of energy put into it, a lot of good (and bad) yoga sessions stored within.
But, because getting a nice, NEW mat (looking at the Jade mats) is currently out of the financial picture right now, I have to make due with what I have. So, in order to do that – I need to keep it clean.
Out of sheer laziness, I purchased the Gaiam mat spray on Amazon, which I love, but it is going to come to an end and I would rather just make my own. Because that’s cheaper and greener and I’ve done it before.
Anyways, I’m slightly combining DIY Tuesday with Green Mondays – so hopefully you won’t mind. Here’s a basic recipe with some suggestions for customization.
Yoga Mat Cleaning Spray
- 1 Cup of Water (most people would recommend distilled, filtered tap works just fine)
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar (optional)
- 1/8 cup of Witch Hazel (optional)
- Optional Additional Oils for scents: Lavender, Patchouli, Orange, Lemon
Take a reusable spray bottle – for the amount that you are making, a small/medium hair spray bottle should work fine. Put water in the bottle, approximately 10-15 drops of the Eucalyptus oil, 10-15 drops of the Tea Tree oil. Should you want to add a stronger scent to the spray (Diluted down, the Eucalyptus/Tea Tree aren’t very strong smelling), put as many drops of the optional oils in the spray bottle to your liking. I wouldn’t recommend exceeding 30 drops. There isn’t such a thing as too much oil in this spray (well, there might be), but you do want to think of your fellow yoga students in the class. You don’t want to offend them with too strong a scent. Shake to combine and you are all set!
Note: By their very nature, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree oil are anti-bacterial and will clean your mat naturally without doing any harm. Should you feel like that’s not enough – I put the amounts for vinegar and/or witch hazel above. Those should do the trick. I do not recommend using alcohol on your mat. Alcohol is harsh and can lead to a breakdown in the material on your mat.
How to use the Spray
- Lay mat flat on a covered surface (you may want to lay down a towel first to catch the fly-away droplets from the spray bottle
- Spray your mat thoroughly on one side with your mat cleaner. With a warm, damp cloth, rub down your entire mat. Be sure to really scrub it in.
- Rinse cloth and re-wet with warm water (make sure it is damp again, you don’t want dripping wet). Wipe down your mat. Allow to air dry.
- Repeat steps 1-3 for the other side. Why? Because if you roll up your mat, you’ll get the “clean” side dirty again.
When I go to make a new batch, I am going to use the additional lavender oil scent for my spray. I find lavender calming and soothing – and when I am in chaturanga, sweating, straining, and stressing – it should help calm me enough to sustain the pose a few moments longer.